Sankaran Venugopal is a graduate in Mechanical engineering from PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore (Madras University) and a postgraduate in Mechanical Engineering with specialization in Guided Missiles from the Institute of Advance Technology, Pune.
He is a senior scientist of the Defence Research & Development Laboratory, Hyderabad with twenty five years of work experience in the field of missile design, development and production.
His initiate work was in the field of missile aerodynamics, and was deputed to the National Aerospace Laboratories, Bangalore for five years for the development of an aerodynamic prediction code.
He also worked in the area of aero-structures and mechanisms before joining as the Deputy Project Director (Airframe) and Head, Mechanical Integration for the BrahMos Project during 1999-2006.
He was deputed to the BrahMos Aerospace JV Company as the Project Director (BrahMos-Air Version) in 2006. He held the additional responsibility of Executive Director of the manufacturing company BrahMos Aerospace (Thiruvanathapuram) Ltd. during 2008-09 and was instrumental in turning around the company to a profit making AS9100 certified entity.
On his return to his parent organization DRDL, he worked in the field of hybrid combustion and developed/tested a mixed hybrid propulsion system at DRDL for his doctoral studies.
He took over as Project Director, Astra in October 2012, which is a Beyond Visual Range Air-to-Air Missile being developed by DRDO for the Indian Air Force.
He has been elected as the Vice Chairman of the Combustion Institute (Indian Section). The office of the Combustion Institute (Indian Section) is at IIT, Chennai and the International office is at Pittsburgh USA.